KidzCan is the only organisation in Zimbabwe dedicated to increasing the survival rate of children suffering from cancer and blood-related disorders.
The organisation was formally registered as a Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) in 2009. It was directly evolved in volunteer work for over 15 years prior to that.
A group of concerned volunteers initiated weekly visits to the children's wards of Parirenyatwa Hospital to play with the children and distribute some donated toys, sweets, or basic luxuries to the admitted children.
In 1998 Andrea Whatman took over the coordination of this small volunteer group, a position she held until April 2014.
In 2002, Dr. Orphard Mupanemunda (the only paediatric oncologist in Zimbabwe by then) and Andrea received a fully funded fellowship to St Judes Children's Hospital in Memphis, USA.
On their return, Dr. Mupanamunda and Andrea committed to forming an organisation called Children's Cancer Relief, which to this day is now known as KidzCan Zimbabwe.
KidzCan supports Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo(second largest city), Sekuru Kaguvi Eye Hospital, Sally Mugabe Hospital, and Parirenyatwa Hospital, which is the centre of excellence on childhood cancer.
From the days of only providing psycho-social services the basket of services is now full with others like the provision of chemotherapy drugs, bereavement assistance, CT and MRI scans and bereavement allowances. The institution also sources, and provides prosthetics, admission, discharge packs, and nutritional support in the form of food hampers as good nutrition is at the centre of treatment.
The organisation conducts awareness campaigns in schools, workspaces and the community, and individuals plus group counselling to children, parents, and caregivers.
KidzCan has now introduced housing to the portfolio of services available, through the Rainbow Children’s Village (RCV), which basically is a halfway house for children and caregivers, who often come from remote areas, making it difficult for them to fulfil their appointments with doctors.
KidzCan provides these services free of charge to childhood cancer patients who come through the public health system.
The organisation serves up to 800 patients annually, of which new cases are around 350.
With Leukaemia (blood cancer), Wilms Tumour (kidney cancer) and retinoblastoma (eye cancer) being the most prevalent, the cancers come in many different forms.
All the services are provided free of charge.
KidzCan envisions a compassionate world where children who suffer from cancer and their families are given the chance to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.